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Birding in Shingwedzi

Shingwedzi has abundant bird-life and, aside from the ubiquitous squabble of hornbills, starlings, weavers and Mourning Doves, the camp is a good place to see Bennett’s Woodpecker, Natal Robin, European Hobby (hawking prey at dusk in summer), Grey Penduline Tit, Dusky and Village Indigobird (Black and Steelblue Widowfinch) and AfricanScops-Owl (at night). Verreaux’s (Giant) Eagle Owl is also regularly seen in the large riverine trees on the road approaching the camp.

One should keep a careful lookout for Bathawk. Although not easy to see, they are around and the lucky birder could see them catching bats and swifts at dusk. In summer Eurasian Hobby do the same thing. The highwater bridge is a good potential vantage point, while they can also be seen along Kanniedood Dam.  

There was great excitement in 1995 when Collared Palm Thrush was recorded in the camp. It has subsequently been recorded every year and quite possibly breeds.

Downstream from the rest camp Kanniedood Dam hosts many interesting species. Storks (Open-billed, Yellow-billed, Saddle-billed and Wooly-necked) are prominent. The hide is a good spot to see Black Crake and African Jacana at close quarters. White-winged Tern has also been recorded on the dam. In summer a bit of luck may offer birders the chance to compare the rare Dwarf Bittern with the common Green-backed Heron.

Yellow-billed Oxpecker is being recorded more regularly in the Shingwedzi area since their recolonisation of the Park. Check buffalo in particular for this species. Broad-billed Roller, Mosque Swallow and Dusky Lark (summer) are other species that should be searched for in the Shingwedzi area.

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